Realistic Depictions of War on Film

David Devlin is a professional cinematographer who currently resides in Bozeman, Montana. Prior to taking up residency in Bozeman, Montana, David Devlin worked on several Steven Spielberg films, including War Horse and Saving Private Ryan.

Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, released in 1997, is consistently referred to as one of the most realistic depictions of war on film. The movie is particularly praised for its portrayal of American forces landing on Omaha Beach during the closing stages of World War II. Veterans of war regularly point to Saving Private Ryan, as well as Spielberg’s HBO series The Pacific, as shining examples of both the camaraderie and complicated personal interactions that occur in the military and the technical aspects of war, such as officer rankings and weapons operations.

Movie critics and general audiences responded to the Saving Private Ryan, with the $12 million opening sequence causing many D-Day veterans to turn away or leave the theater. Spielberg’s cinematic approach to battle has been heralded by other directors as well, including director and screen writer Quentin Tarantino.


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